PNG plan for refugees draws ire of Human Rights boss

A PLAN to resettle refugees in Papua New Guinea has earned Human Rights Commission president Gillian Trigg's condemnation.

The PNG Government announced its plan to accept asylum seekers bound for Australia had received final approval last week.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the move was "consistent with the spirit of partnership that exists between our two countries".

"No-one will be resettled in Australia," he added.

But Professor Triggs said the country, where homosexuality is still illegal, was ill-equipped to deal with the situation.

"Seventy per cent of the women there allege rape or sexual assault in their lifetime," she told ABC. "Infant mortality is poor, the mortality of the mothers is poor. Health care generally, access to clean water, is very limited. Access in particular to the courts or police services is very limited.

"I think it is not a country that should be asked to accept the burden of refugees, whereas obviously Australia is a wealthy country with huge opportunities."

Topics:  asylum seekers papua new guinea refugees

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